Marshmallows feel like such a wintery food for me. I know that a lot of you might immediately think “s’mores” when you consider marshmallows, but I have to admit, I’m not a huge fan. I’m not sure why…I love marshmallows, chocolate and graham crackers individually, and I like s’mores flavored desserts, but the actual s’mores? Meh.
So for the most part, I make marshmallows exclusively in the winter. They were the first candy recipe I mastered, and I love playing with different flavor variations.
Heather and I were discussing what goes well with citrus the other night (we’re both on a quest to eat all the citrus this winter!) and the orange-chili combo came up. It seemed like the perfect twist for my hot cocoa mix + homemade marshmallows gift.
Now, who wants to come over for a spicy hot cocoa with creamsicle marshmallows? I have plenty!
These vanilla and orange layered marshmallows are sweet and creamy, just like a creamsicle. Serve them with spicy hot cocoa (recipe below) for a special winter treat.
Recipe adapted from Alton Brown.
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1 cup cold water, divided
- 3- 1/4-ounce envelopes unflavored gelatin
- 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract
- Zest of 1 orange
- 2 tablespoons triple sec
- Orange gel food coloring (optional)
- Whisk the powdered sugar and cornstarch together in a small bowl.
- Line a 9"×9″ baking pan with parchment paper. Grease the paper, including up the sides of the pan, and heavily dust it with the sugar + cornstarch mix. You should use up about 1/2 of the cornstarch mixture for this.
- Pour the gelatin over 1/2 cup of cold water in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Allow to rest, undisturbed, until the gelatin absorbs much of the water.
- Meanwhile, combine the remaining 1/2 cup of water with the sugar, corn syrup and salt in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium-low, stirring constantly, until the sugar is dissolved. Stop stirring, cover the pan, increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Let it boil for 3-4 minutes before removing the cover.
- Allow the syrup to boil undisturbed (no stirring!) until a candy thermometer says it is 240F, about 7-10 minutes. Immediately remove the syrup from the heat.
- With the stand mixer running on low, gradually pour the syrup into the gelatin. Increase the speed to high and beat until the marshmallow is thick, lukewarm, white and beginning to lose its shine. Add vanilla in the last minute.
- Pour about half of the marshmallow into the lined baking pan. Work quickly - it doesn't need to be exact (in fact, mine turned out to be closer to 1/3 vanilla). Beat the orange zest, triple sec and a few drops of orange food coloring into the half of marshmallow that is still in the mixer bowl. Pour the orange marshmallow layer over the vanilla layer. Dust with the remaining powdered sugar and cornstarch.
- Allow to rest uncovered at room temperature for 3-4 hours, or until firm.
- Lift the parchment paper out of the pan and use a pizza cutter or sharp knife to cut the marshmallows into squares. Dip the sticky uncoated edges into powdered sugar as you cut.
Make Ahead and Storage
Store the cut marshmallows in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
Pour 1 cup of hot milk or milk alternative over 2 tablespoons of cocoa mix. Whisk until all the powder is dissolved, and top with a creamsicle marshmallow (recipe above)!
- 2 cups nonfat instant dry milk
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 5 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne chili powder
- Pulse all ingredients together in a food processor and package into jars. If you don't have a food processor, you can also whisk it by hand, but be sure to break up any clumps that may form.